I have a confession.

I … am a bag lady.

By that I mean I have reusable shopping bags that I take shopping with me. Not as often as I should, but I’m getting better.

I’ve made a ton of them, both sewn and crocheted, but I’d like to focus on two specifically that are easily available on the ‘net, cheap, and pack down small for ease of carrying.

These cute little guys.

First up – the strawberry bag.

I bought this one on eBay, they come in different styles with grapes, watermelon, and tropical fish looking to be the most popular. The patterns are different but the idea is the same; stuff the entire bag down into a corner and use a built-in cord to cinch it closed.

14 inches wide by 16 inches deep, with an additional 6 inch high opening for the handle.

The “strawberry” corner is made of a heavier canvas, but the bag itself is a thin nylon. A loop of red elastic cord is fed through the green “leaf” channel sewn to the top of the “strawberry”, which is about four inches deep by about five inches across.

It’s lightweight and doesn’t take up much room and it has proven itself to be pretty sturdy. I’ve used mine numerous times and it has held up well. It doesn’t take up much room in my purse and it’s kinda cute.

You can find these bags all over eBay, the lowest price I have found is $0.99 with free shipping. The other styles are a little more depending on the pattern, perhaps up to $0.75 -$1.00 more. I think the strawberry is cute and it was the cheapest, so that’s what I got.

Next up – the penguin.

24 inches wide (16 inches folded flat) by 15 inches deep, with a 4 inch gusset on either side and an additional almost 8 inch handle opening, it folds down to a 5.5 inch by 3 inch by .50 inch rectangle.

I love this bag! It’s bigger than the strawberry and the material and workmanship is a bit better. It’s nylon as well, but a heavier weight and seems more durable. It was a bit pricier, $3.00 with free shipping, but it’s a nice big bag. I got it from DealExtreme, a site I eventually plan on reviewing.

I will say this, it took FOREVER to get this bag, over a month. Of the overseas sites, DX almost always takes longer. It was worth the wait, though. I got a great bag at a decent price. It came as “assorted color” but all the bags pictured were cute so I was willing to take a chance and I’m happy with what I got.

Just look at that face and those itty bitty feet!

If you are looking for a compact bag to take with you in the car, in you pocket, or in a purse, these two are great choices especially if you are only picking up a few things. When you have your own bag, you would be surprised how often you get a chance to use it.

Both are washable and dry quickly so if you have any messes or leaky stuff in them they are easy to take care of.

I like them for going to yard sales as well, people seem to appreciate the fact that you brought your own bag (and that you have quarters!)